Monday, November 2, 2009

Season 7, Episode 11: Closure


In an opening voice-over, Mulder ruminates on what might await us after death; the opening tag is "Believe to Understand." Ed Truelove has confessed to 24 murders, but not that of Amber Lynn LaPierre. Her body isn't found in the grove, and neither Samantha's, though Mulder had longed for that to be the case so his search could end. A police psychic named Harold Pillar attributes LaPierre's disappearance to a phenomenon of people being spiritually removed from harm by walk-ins and transformed into the pure energy of starlight. Mulder notes how it's identical to Tencate's theory, but Scully thinks Pillar just gives a comforting explanation for unexplained disappearances.

Pillar senses that there is a connection between LaPierre and Samantha. He later attempts to convey a message from Mulder's mother's spirit, and though Mulder thinks he's full of it when he says he's lost the spirit, it turns out he's written "April Base" on a piece of paper during Pillar's trance. Scully finds a fragment of a document showing that Cancer Man called off a special Treasury Department investigation into Samantha's disappearance, but Mulder doesn't think it's important. Cancer Man visits Scully and says he believes Samantha is dead, and that he's let Mulder continue thinking she was alive to give him hope.

Mulder and Pillar sneak into a deserted Air Force base and find a sidewalk with handprints and signatures from Samantha and Jeffrey. Mulder thinks it's a sign that she was raised by Cancer Man, along with Jeffrey Spender, and refuses to accept that she's dead after Scully says Cancer Man told her so. The agents find that Pillar is schizophrenic and subject of a murder investigation into his son's disappearance, but he insists he's genuine. He takes Mulder and Scully back to the base, where he manages to summon spirits at Samantha's old house, including one that leads Mulder to Samantha's diary.

The diary was written when Samantha was 14, and describes how unpleasant tests are being performed on her before petering out with entries about running away. Scully finds a report of a 14-year-old Jane Doe runaway being picked up around the same time, and Mulder thinks it's a sign that Samantha is alive. The agents visit the ER nurse who attended to the girl, and she recalls how she disappeared under similar circumstances to LaPierre when Cancer Man and other people came to retrieve her.

The same spirit boy from the base leads Mulder to a nearby forest, where he sees the spirits of several children...including LaPierre and Samantha, who hugs him. Mulder returns to Scully and Pillar, saying that the missing children, including Samantha and Pillar's son, are all dead but in a better place. Pillar refuses to believe his theory that he can't see his son because he won't let him go, and insists that he'll find him; Mulder, by contrast, has found closure.

Anthony Heald, who plays Harold Pillar, also played Scott Guber on Boston Public. The Donnie Darko cast has been showing up quite a bit now; Patience Cleveland, who played Grandma Death (or Roberta Sparrow) in the movie plays Arbutus Ray in this episode.

Episode Body Count

Twenty-four children: murdered by Ed Truelove over the course of several years.

Seven other children: Pillar says they went missing after a train wreck in Asia, presumably taken away by spiritual intervention.

Pillar's son: Harold Pillar is the subject of a murder investigation regarding his son; he claims his son was taken from him, possibly by walk-ins.

Fifteen April Air Force Base spirits: appear when Pillar holds a sort of seance.

Amber Lynn LaPierre: seen as a spirit.

At least 28 children: seen in spirit form by Mulder. A little difficult to count, since they're all running around and playing, but arguably I'd have to count the stars visible in this episode, so hopefully this will suffice.

Samantha Mulder: seen in spirit form by Mulder, who accepts that she and the other missing children are dead.

Humans: 77
Creatures: 0
Aliens: 0

Cumulative Body Count (150/202 episodes, 1/2 movies)

Humans: 1,695
Creatures: 114
Aliens: 62

Grand Total: 1,871

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